Overall, the Group’s Financial Statements detail an increase in profit before tax of 17% on 2019, at £4.7m – JT was also able to maintain a healthy dividend to its shareholder, the Government of Jersey, of £6m (2019: £7m).
The strong performance of the Group’s core activities meant that the cash generated by the business increased by 30% on 2019, and the level of net debt reduced by 41%.
Total Group revenues fell by 13% as a result of a one-off strategic decision to exit Voice Trading business, but that had little impact on profits, as it was low margin.
The Progress Report also explains how JT played its part in supporting islanders to cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic by doubling broadband speeds to 1Gb/s at no extra cost to support people working at home, providing free local landline calls to its customers, and suspending charges for both late payments, and exceeding agreed data limits.
In addition, the Report details the success of the Group’s Internet of Things (IoT) division which was created by JT in 2014 and has doubled in size every year for the last 3 years. It provides device connectivity solutions to customers across the world.
JT Group Chairman, Phil Male, commented: “Clearly, 2020 needs to be seen through the frame of COVID-19, and in the light of what many people experienced in that year. JT played its part to support the community in any way it could, perhaps notably by doubling broadband speeds to help islanders to work from home. I would like to thank our people who pulled together brilliantly under some really tough circumstances to make that happen quickly, and with the minimum of disruption – I know I speak for the whole leadership team when I say how very proud we are of them all. 2020 was a year when we were all tested – but JT has come through it strongly and is very well set-up to continue supporting the islands as we go forward.”
Graeme Millar, JT Group CEO, added: “2020 was a year when our whole community faced considerable challenges, and I would like to echo Phil’s comments about how well the JT team pulled together in the face of such tough circumstances.
From a trading point of view, it was a very solid performance. We had to contend with the negative effects of Brexit, the pandemic and general volatility in global markets. But we took a prudent approach to those challenges, protected our core business and looked to focus on new opportunities for growth. That core businesses performed very well indeed, and proved how resilient the JT Group is. And we see excellent future opportunities both for our Internet of Things division, but also for Fraud Protection Services, and for our international business generally. Closer to home we enabled the cultural shift to working-from-home, something which demonstrated the deep capability of our network; we will continue to invest in that to make sure the islands have the essential infrastructure they need to prosper.”
You can read JT’s Progress Report 2020/21 and Financial Statements www.jtglobal.com/progressreport